Bryan Rivas didn’t have to do a whole lot Thursday afternoon.
The senior goalkeeper for the Arroyo Grande High boys soccer team often watched from afar with his hands on his waist, sometimes hung on to the top of his net and occasionally tried to stay loose by pacing back and forth or hopping on both feet.
Rivas didn’t make any saves, and he didn’t need to, as the Eagles throttled visiting New Roads of Santa Monica 5-0 at Doug Hitchen Stadium in the opening round of the CIF-Southern Section Division V playoffs. New Roads mustered just one shot on goal all day.
“It was the five in front of him,” Arroyo Grande coach Brad Bowdey said of a defensive rotation of Aldo Diaz, Mario Herrera, Eric Simon, Nolan Krause, Jairo Diaz and Matt Corella. “Nothing got through them. When they’re doing their job, which they did today, getting us out of any sort of danger, Bryan doesn’t have to work, and that’s ideal.”
The Eagles (18-7-2), the No. 2 seed from the PAC 7, made it out of the divisional first round for the first time in six years.
“Our defense really shut down their forwards,” said Eagles forward Eliseo Torres, who had three assists. “We owe it to the defense.”
Arroyo Grande, which was ranked No. 8 in the division’s final regular-season poll, is now 6-0-1 in its past seven games.
“It’s a good time to be playing well,” Arroyo Grande midfielder Morgan Wack said. “When we pass like that, I don’t think there are a lot of teams that can beat us. If we play like that in the next round, we’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”
They advanced to face either Colton or Poloma Valley in the second round at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
“We’re playing well,” Bowdey said in cautiously assessing the team’s potential the rest of the way. “We’ve been blessed we don’t have a lot of injuries right now.
“We went through a pretty rigorous preseason. We’re sort of battle-tested at this point.”
All of the Eagles’ scores Thursday came in the first half.
Christian Garcia tallied the first goal in the 15th minute on a pass from Torres, before Torres collected another assist two minutes later on a cross to Wack, who put a diving header into the bottom-left corner.
The flurry continued in the 19th minute, as Alex Cossey scored on a feed from Wack.
Koedy Williams then scored in the 24th and 31st minutes, posting his first two goals of the season to round out the scoring. Torres had his third assist on the first of those, which Williams booted through New Roads goalkeeper Anthony Jimenez’s legs from about five yards out.
On the final score, Williams lobbed the ball to himself over Jimenez to set up an empty-netter.
The Jaguars gave up 12 shots on goal.
“We came out with a lot of energy, and we were able to take advantage of their defense, and maybe take advantage of their nerves a little bit,” Bowdey said. “We seem to play in energy spurts. It seemed like we were just sort of relaxed after the first half. It was kind of hard to go up by so much and to try to keep that energy going.”